Wednesday 20 June 2018

Kizan 基山 - Kiyama Hike 2018.6.17

Kizan 基山 - Kiyama Hike 2018.6.17

Warning: The first part of this hike has changed radically due to the flooding and landslides caused in the Summer 2018 rainy season. The water gate has been badly damaged and the buildings and house next to it have been destroyed. The hike is still possible but you need to be prepared to climb over debris and tree trunks etc. Please check out the latest post Tenpaizan to Kizan for more up to date info. 2018.10.21

Kizan is a short hike in one of the first towns in Saga you will come to travelling south. Despite being short and not too steep it's treeless summit offers some fantastic views similar to those found on the mountains of Shioji. 

Access: Take the JR Kagoshima line to JR Keyakidai station (Alternatively you could start from JR Kiyama station. For variety I started at Keyakidai and finished at Kiyama.) From here it is a 20min walk to the base of the mountain. Be careful of using Google maps as there is a bridge across the expressway which it may tell you to use. This is completely sealed off with a large fence with a sign saying "Danger!" in Japanese instead walk south to a tunnel that goes underneath the road. There are also community buses which seem to run from Kiyama station Kiyama community bus

Gear: Not too strenuous of a climb still hiking boots and a trekking pole are recommended. Bring some empty bottles and you can refill them at the freshwater spring at the base.

Route map - There are many alternatives to the climb this is the one I used.

The walk to the trail head is pretty uneventful just a little farm land. 

At the start of the trail there was a helpful route map. 

A tunnel for the freshwater mountain stream. It looked pretty ancient. 
Freshwater spring. A man was refilling his home water supply

Ancient water gate built around 1350 years ago
基肄城 水門址 Water gate shrine

The route started just a little way up on the left side past the water gate. 

Forest trail
Route start
A snake across the trail, possibly a Japanese Keelback

Wonderful view of Saga below 
Looking from the back of the mountain wonderful sky views

The summit is a small mound on top of the mountain. 

Summit marker

A small stone Summit shrine

 A video of the Summit view, the treeless summit allowed for wonderful views of the area around. 

An old viewtower. A smaller new tower now exits. 

Yet another view video this time from the otherside of the mountain looking across the urban areas. 

Lots of ruins in the forest on Kizan. Only the foundations now remain. Probably marking where the support beams would have once have been. 

Ancient ruins

Eventually I got to the bottom of the mountain a little further up from the trail I started with. From there it was a pleasant walk through rice fields and farms to Kiyama station. 

A perfect short afternoon hike that delivered in spades. 

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